This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Arizona Summers" by Buddy Wakefield

I first met Buddy Wakefield in Arizona during his 2003 tour. He's always been a bright spot in the national poetry slam scene, if not for his bright and enjoyable poetry then for his sheer enthusiasm in performing. He's passed through Phoenix and Flagstaff numerous times, but one trip through Sedona brought him to the house of my former roommate Rebekah Crisp. One of the best times I spent with Buddy was shooting the shit in her kitchen for a few hours, talking about life, poetry and Crisp's eclectic collection raw foods and spices.

Seeing him make out with Daphne Gottlieb in the lobby of the National Poetry Slam hotel in St. Louis in 2004 was an odd thing, but totally sweet.

Buddy wrote "Arizona Summers"
about his tour through our lovely state, and yes, we are out of our goddamn minds to live in this state.

Buddy Wakefieldis the two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion featured on NPR, the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and most recently signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records.

In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then successfully defended that [arbitrary] title at the International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands, against the national champions of seven European countries with works translated into Dutch.

In 2005 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship again and has gone on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world in hundreds of venues internationally from The Fillmore in San Francisco and Scotland’s Oran Mor to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues New Orleans and CBGB’s.

In the spring of 2001 Buddy left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, Wash., sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda Civic and set out to live for a living, touring North American poetry venues through 2003.

He still tours full time and considers annual Revival tours with Derrick Brown and Anis Mojgani, as well as separate tours with Ani DiFranco, to be the highlight of his career thus far.

Oh and the first time he performed with Saul Williams… that was pretty much awesome in the face.

Born in Shreveport, La., mostly raised in Baytown, Texas, now claiming Seattle, WA as home, Buddy has been a busker in Amsterdam, a lumberjack in Norway, a street vendor in Spain, a team leader in Singapore, a re-delivery boy, a candy maker, a street sweeper, a bartender, a maid, a construction worker, manager of a CD store, a bull rider and a booking agent. Wakefield is a growth junkie, elated son of a guitar repair woman, wingman of Giant Saint Everything, and remembers Kirkwood, NY.

Buddy, a Board of Directors member with Youth Speaks Seattle, is honored that his work is published internationally in several books and has been used to win national collegiate debate and forensics competitions. An author of Write Bloody Publishing, Wakefield is known for delivering raw, rounded, high vibration performances of humor and heart.


…except for the time one of Buddy’s hero’s, Benjamin Morse, called him “Monster of Energy, Keeper of Hope, Friend of My Soul…” That was a good one.


In the Fall of 1984 Anchor Bay Entertainment released a movie called Children of the Corn while Buddy lived in front of the corn fields near Niagara Falls, New York.

This traumatic event (coupled with extensive exposure to Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie) may or may not have led to Buddy becoming a sensitive poet puss who plays marbles in the trees, listens by talking and keeps fingers on pulse.

No comments: